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Djokovic, Murray, del Porto, Janowicz for Wimbledon semis

Thursday, July 04, 2013    

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LONDON, England (AFP) — Novak Djokovic will face Juan Martin del Potro in the Wimbledon semi-finals after the world number one clinched his 13th consecutive Grand Slam last-four spot with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3 victory over Tomas Berdych yesterday.

Djokovic is yet to drop a set in his five matches at this year's tournament and the 2011 champion is now just two wins away from lifting the All England Club trophy for the second time.

Del Potro beat Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) after surviving a nasty fall in the opening game, which left the Argentine eighth seed needing several minutes of treatment on a left knee already heavily bandaged.

Also going through was Jerzy Janowicz, the 24th seed, who defeated compatriot Lukasz Kubot 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 to become Poland's first male Grand Slam semi-finalist

Janowicz will play third seeded Andy Murray who rallied from two sets down to beat unseeded Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco.

Murray, who lost to Roger Federer in last year's final at the All England Club, overcame Verdasco 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5.

Berdych had beaten Djokovic in the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2010, but that was one of just two wins for the Czech seventh seed in their 15 meetings.

The losing streak always looked likely to continue once Djokovic took a tight first set in the tie-break.

Djokovic, a six-time Grand Slam champion, recovered from 3-0 down in the second set and surged to victory in his 17th consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearance.

"It was a close match, it could have gone either way," Djokovic said.

On Centre Court, Del Potro, 24, was clearly struggling to move at times, but he gritted his teeth through two hours and 16 minutes of gruelling action, unloading 42 winners and 12 aces to finally subdue the battling Spaniard.

It will be del Potro's first Grand Slam semi-final appearance since his breakthrough triumph at the US Open four years ago.

Del Potro is just the second Argentine man to feature in the Wimbledon semi-finals, following in the footsteps of David Nalbandian in 2002.

Meanwhile, Murray could count on the support of former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who was in the royal box after watching several of his fellow Scot's matches en route to his maiden Grand Slam triumph at the US Open last year.

The 22-year-old Janowicz fired 30 aces and 58 winners before breaking down in tears and even exchanging shirts with Kubot, his Davis Cup teammate.

Janowicz had already exceeded his best Grand Slam performance by making the quarter-finals and has capitalised on the shock exits of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga from his half of the draw.

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